<p>Richard Black’s animation <i>The Symbiotic Office</i> turns your run-of-the-mill open plan office hell into a “semi-chaotic orchid farm”.</p>
Look around your office. What do you see? Happy, smiling faces? Orchid gardens? None of the above? In Richard Black‘s short film The Symbiotic Office, he proposes a new layout to the usual identikit offices that people suffer in across the world. His architectural fiction short, very much in the Factory Fifteen school of animation, looks at the office as a place where we aren’t subjected to the clinical horror of cubicles or open plan blandness. Nor the cringeworthy you-don’t-have-to-be-crazy-to-work-here-but-it-helps beanbag wackiness you get in some places. Instead we get lovely flowers, and lots of them.
His beef, he says, is mainly with the office culture seen at places like London’s Canary Wharf district, where high-rises cage in the workers in a closed environment. Instead, his office is a place where plants grow in the functional wastelands of an office’s interior, sprouting up around air ducts and pipes. Orchids are grown to make tea and their extracts are available in the office pharmacy to help with aches and pains. Panels in the building’s exterior open to let pollen out and the outside air in.
It all sounds way too nice and relaxing to be an office at this juncture of the 21st century, but maybe if you start an internal petition on the company intranet, you’ll at least get an office orchid you can all pretend to look after.
Images: Richard Black